As many of you can probably tell from my blog posts, I am very interested in social media. I find it fascinating and see it as a valuable way of interacting with others. For this same reason, social media is also changing the way we conduct business as future PR professionals. It has even made it possible to do business without ever meeting in person with some of our colleagues or clients.
It is easy to get caught up in the ever-changing, personal world of social media, but we can’t forget that other modes of communication are still crucial to our profession. While so much PR is conducted through computers and the Web these days, face-to-face communication is not any less valuable as it was in the past. It still represents an important and relevant way of reaching out- to both clients and associates. As Robert Holland puts it, “face-to-face communication still has a place in the communicator’s toolbox.” In fact, several recent studies have shown that face-to-face is still a preferred means of communication in the workplace, so- while it may sound like commonsense- it is important to keep face-to-face communication integrated into your routine.
Here are seven of the best ways to use face-to-face communication:
- Make face-to-face part of your overall communication strategy- Although effective, face-to-face communication is not a panacea. It should be represent an element of your overall communication strategy.
- Use face-to-face communication for its particular strengths- give-and-take dialogue is a great application of face-to-face communication.
- Start small-start with informal opportunities.
- Ease into it-build trust through preferred means of communication beforehand.
- Provide substantive answers- be willing and prepared to ask questions devoid of spin or evasion.
- Look for opportunities- be creative. Opportunities do not have to come at formal moments.
- Provide training if necessary- even the most seasoned communicators can always use a brushing-up.